Tip-1: In order for a relationship to succeed, you have to see the good in your partner, especially when you are fighting.
Life is always going to bring us difficult situations and hard times. Research shows that the relationships that succeed are the ones that have more positive exchanges than negative ones. When the feeling is good, say something positive. You like the way she looks in that dress? Let her know. He did the dishes? Let him know that you feel taken care of and are grateful. What you chose to focus on is the reality you will create. I say chose the good. It just feels better doesn’t it?
Tip-2: Avoid criticizing your mate at all costs. Shame only causes us to contract and pull away. That’s not what you really want is it?
If you find yourself criticizing your partner in an attempt to get them to behave differently you will only push them away. In my opinion, criticism is an adult way of crying over unmet needs from childhood. Instead of shaming your mate for disappointing you, look at what core wound of yours is being triggered by his/her behavior. What is the feeling that is being triggered in you by your partner’s actions? Is it anxiety? Are you hurt? Your emotions are a bridge. Invite him/her to see you and honor your feelings. Shame will only cause disconnect.
Tip-3: Have a good relationship with yourself first!
Do you really know what you are feeling when things get difficult, or do you go straight to anger and criticizing your mate? Do you truly love all parts of you, or do you push your more vulnerable or “weak” feelings down and away? You cannot be intimate with your partner if you don’t know what you are feeling when you are feeling it. Without this self-knowledge, there is no bridge to cross, and you will be left feeling alone and unseen even when you are married and share the same bed and table.
TIP-4: Keep it real!
Yes, you want to put your best foot forward, but eventually you have to trust that the one with the big ole wart on it will be loved just as much as the pretty one! If you start out needing to and being perfect you have only one way to go…down. Men, I’m not saying you should be passing gas like an Exxon station on your first date [leave that for later], but we all have our struggles. If you keep it real it’s more likely she will be able to identify with you as a member of the human race.
Tip -5 : Mirror mirror on the wall, who is their lover’s healer after all?
We all need to be seen and heard. This is at the core of our earliest wounds. When your partner is upset, instead of trying to make them feel better, or taking responsibility for their feelings, or defending your goodness and honor at all costs [usually at the cost of the relationship], mirror his/her feelings back, show your love that you are taking them in and that you can tolerate and even love their difficult emotions. This is the hardest piece for so many of us. We have to put our baggage away for a while and be a witness for our loved one’s reality.
Tip -6: Let your mate know that they make sense to you…unless they don’t. In a healthy relationship you must be curious and ask questions.
What we are talking about here is the second step from seeing your mate and hearing them. Validate their feelings. Let them know that you get them. If they aren’t making any sense, instead of telling your partner he/she is nuts, ask your mate to tell you more. Be curious until they do make sense to you.
Tip-7: Try on his/her shoes [Not literally you goof-nut!]
The worse thing you can do to a child is to not give that child the experience that you are feeling what the child is feeling when they are feeling it. It’s not just seeing them that is important here. Your partner needs to experience that you truly feel them, that you feel and accept their pain. A little empathy can go a long way in making your mate feel good in the relationship.
Bonus Tip: Forgive. If you are unable to let go and forgive your partner, there will be no room for the good stuff.
Educate yourself about relationships. The more you act with knowledge, the more you are likely to succeed in life. Take the time to learn about what it means to be a good partner. For more information, log on to davidsteinberg.com to learn about webinars and trainings to help you be the best lover you can be.